Take a deep breath and think about what you’re about to say.
Will it help? Will it edify the person you’re speaking with? Will it shine a light of truth on a matter? Or are you just ready to jump on the bandwagon of bashing that has seized the world in a frenzy of negative madness in the last year.
In my 30 years of gathering around the workplace water cooler, I have never known the conversation to be so pointedly angry. At everyone. At everything.
We are a world on fire. And it isn’t our passion for life that has been ignited.
We’re angry about everything from how the lady at the checkout didn’t double bag our order to the little guy behind the coffee counter who made our double/double with only ONE sugar.
We’re angry about weather – who reports it, who gets it right, who says global warming is real, the ones who say global warming is a hoax, the people who call it a hoax, the scientists who say it’s real, the people who want it to snow (I’m mad at them), and the people who don’t care if it snows because they’re flying to Mexico for three weeks (I’m REALLY mad at them).
Something happened to us when Donald Trump was elected president. I say “us” because most Canadians I know shake their heads muttering, “I can’t believe he got elected,” like we’re somehow responsible for how the citizens of the United States decided to exercise their democratic rights and freedoms. But if you live in Canada right now, the morning water cooler conversation generally starts with, “did you see what Trump did now?”
I do see.
And I rail at what I see as ineptitude, boorishness, narcissism. Like everyone, I have my thoughts and I make my points, sometimes with my voice a few octaves louder than necessary.
But I fear what has happened in the world – the unleashing of this unabated anger that turns on others like a rabid dog -- can’t be blamed on President Trump and his mongering. It is the Internet that has given us a voice, stripped us of identity and humility, and left us all with the false sense that the world both wants to hear what we say, and is better off for having heard it.
Wrong on both accounts. So terribly wrong.
Scroll through any given online news article – even on reputable sites – and you will find a congregations of individuals who live with the sole purpose of spewing their anger. We read it, absorb it, and it somehow infects us with a sense that we should carry on likewise.
Trashing and trolling, as one gal in my office says.
And now the online world of vitriol has bridged the chasm to real life, and infected the water coolers of the world.
Take the antidote.
Our mothers gave it to all of us years ago.
If you don’t have something nice to say — or type -- don’t say anything at all.